Magic (184)

So the first thing that comes to my mind for this word is of course, Harry Potter. I was about  8 or 9 when I began the love for this series. I remember going to watch the first two films in the cinema with my parents and middle brother, and I very vividly remember the day that the 5th book in the series was released. My mum went to tescos with my middle brother and I, and on the very day it was released we each got our own copy of the book, and a bar of tesco value white chocolate (pocketcanadian will be making a puking gesture at this point because she hates white chocolate), and we went home, and I’m not sure about my brother, but I couldn’t have been happier. I went straight upstairs with the beautiful big hardback book with thick pages, and my bar of chocolate and sat on the wooden floor in my room under the window with my back against the wall, and was completely entranced by the book. I’m not completely sure whether I had read all of the other books up to that point, but I most definitely did from that moment on. I became quite obsessed with Hogwarts and Harry Potter. You probably wouldn’t realise it from afar – I didn’t talk non-stop about it, I didn’t wear Harry Potter costumes…but I did always, no matter what, carry one of the books (if not two if I was nearing the end of one of the books) with me at all times. And I mean all times. If I was going to school, to my grandparents, even in the car with one of my parents for just 5 minutes. Hogwarts was my safety net. It was love and misunderstanding and belonging, and finding a family where you believed you had none. It was home to me. This crazy imagined world with spells and dragons and wonderful half giants, and men with long beards and cloaks who love you before you even know who they are. I can’t put words exactly to what it is that made me feel such a connection to the books, but my favourite character was Sirius (and then Lupin), and of course Harry, and I think its probably clear from Harry’s lack of support and safety, and Sirius’ complete lack of belonging in his own cruel slytherin family, that the idea of not belonging in the family that you know, feeling unseen and unheard and out of place, as well as unsafe and unloved….I think that was a big part. But more importantly, how they found their own family – how they found a home and love and belonging that they never knew existed up to that point. There’s a lot in that I think.

So yeah….I would read the series non-stop. As soon as I was finished with one book I would move onto the next, and once I had finished the last book in the series (that being however far along in the series was released at that point) I would just go straight back to the beginning and start again. My books are so very battered these days. A couple of them sellotaped together. I used to just pick up the 4th and 5th books and read the last several chapters at night, when I was sad and needed to cry but couldn’t, needing a release. The death of Cedric and Molly’s mothering in the fourth book, and then Sirius’ death and the scene with Dumbledore in his office in the 5th book, were both scenes that could induce tears with me. Somebody who found it very hard to cry, but very much needing to given the things going on in my life at that time…these books offered an outlet for that. As well as offering so very much more.

I’m not too happy with J.K Rowling right now, but nevertheless, this series will always mean everything to me. It was the very thing that I latched onto and kept me moving forwards through all of the disgusting things happening to me. So this to end this post ❤

Dreams (358)

I hadn’t intended to click on this title in my drafts – it was the last one above the button to see more of the drafts – but actually it seems like a decent one to do today, because it sort of fits in with the last post I did on Hope, and also, because my dreams have been pretty terrible lately.

*****

So first off, dreaming for things, having broader dreams for my life, are hard. I’m not going to go into all of that again because its pretty much all in my last post, but yeah.

As for the dreaming that I do when I’m asleep…they’re bonkers generally. I always thought everybody remembered their dreams in intricate detail, but pocketcanadian was always surprised and kind of happy that when she asked about my dreams I would go off on a very long-winded story with lots of segues and anecdotes and plainly random twists and turns, because she remembered all of the intricate detail in her dreams too, unlike her family who thought it was very weird.

As a kid I would have a recurring dream that would alter somewhat, but on the whole stay the same. I still have the same dream from time to time. In it I’m at my parents house, in my bedroom with one or two of my dogs, and I would sense and then hear the people coming to attack us. Sometimes I would see their cars and vans coming up the drive, sometimes when I was older and driving myself, I would be driving to my parents to see them and come across these people down the track to our house. Every time in these dreams My parents would be killed, and sometimes my dogs too, and always, always, it was me that they were truly after. Me that they wanted to rape and then kill. Most of the times I would be in my bedroom and try to quiet the dogs and then climb out of my bedroom window, dog in tow, and run as fast as I can through the garden and into the fields. Often I would be chased, and at this point I would have to hide in the stream running through a little wooded area, trying my hardest to not scare my dog, and keep them quiet, sometimes unsuccessfully. In many dreams I would manage to run to my grandparents house which was close by, and with huge relief and also still heightened terror run in ready to tell them that my parents are dead and that they’re coming to get me, to call the police. Sometimes they would be alive and confused and I would have to hurry trying to lock all the windows and doors, never managing it in time….but normally, I would run into their house in equal parts panic and relief, only to see the men there, and them dead, waiting for my fate. And then I would wake up….covered in sweat and sometimes tears, heart racing out of my chest and still feeling the terror.

There are other versions of this one…where I turn into a miniature person so I can hide…where my dad lets them in….where my dad invites them so that he can sell me to them, where I hide in the house….where there are guns and shots and a fight at the house….

*****

Other recurring dreams include dying on a plane. (Fear of flying – obvious much)

Lately I keep having a dream about arguing with my dad, talking back as he goes off on his “mental health is bullshit, young people these days are pathetic, never had anything bad happen in their life, therapy is total crap, only soldiers know trauma etc.” rant, to ask him how he can be saying that to me, ask him how being raped by your brother at a young age is nothing, how that’s no big deal and to stop being so goddamn pathetic. Clearly my mind trying to process all of the things he has been saying to me lately, and my own desire to scream back at him rather than hold my tongue which is what I currently do, trying not to cry and not to let the shame roar inside me.

I’ve also been having ones where I tell somebody that has pretended to care and has asked questions about what is going on with me, that I was abused. Only to then go back and try to tell them more for them to say they aren’t interested, they don’t want to hear it. There’s a lot of shame brought up even thinking about those dreams.

*****

I think dreams are incredibly interesting – the way we process the things that happen in our day during REM sleep, the way that traumatic things go unprocessed and are “incorrectly filed”, how things like EMDR work to go back in time and process them at a later date. The brain is just amazing, and I’d love to learn more about the brain and trauma, how it all connects and works to keep us safe.

Hope (359)

I find it really hard to hope for things, to admit what I want and acknowledge to other people that actually I do hope for things.

Lately I told pocketcanadian of one of my biggest hopes, that I really want to move to Canada and away from my parents and family for 6 months, two years, maybe forever. Its a big thing admitting that. I told my therapist once and then the following week I came back to her, so full of anger at myself, saying it was impossible, it would never happen for a whole load of reasons, and that she shouldn’t have ever led me into believing it was actually possible. Safe to say I was punishing myself for daring to hope, and worse, for expressing those hopes to somebody else.

Lately, 9 to 10 months later, I’m beginning to express those hopes again. To look into it a bit more, to tell pocketcanadian, to put more attention on what I really want and to just give it space. So here i go, I’m going to put it out there a little bit more. Put it here, and think about all the logistics of it.

So im from the uk, and i love being by the sea, love water, and feel connected listening to waves, diving into them, feeling the water all around me. So, id like to go to the coast, ideally the east coast, Nova Scotia.

That might not be an immediate thing though, because pocketcanadian is somewhere else in Canada, and I think if I’m going to make this huge move, it might be better to start out near her, so that I have a safe space, someone I can turn to and see and hug on those bad lonely days.

Here are the things i need to work out (this list will get bigger, but here’s where I’m at right now) :

Rent. How much a month? Bills included? How much for bills? Council tax?

Working visa. Cost? How easy?

Student loan. Normally comes out of wages, what happens if I move abroad?

When? Before I’m 30, as soon as I’ve saved enough money.

Cat? If 6 months, i could leave him here and he would be looked after, but I would feel so guilty, and I would miss him like crazy. If longer, take him? Can I find somewhere to rent that will take pets?

Business? Can I get my craft business going here? Can I get it to make money? Can I move that abroad? Would it make sense to? Would I be able to take my equipment?

Job. This is a big one. I would need to ideally have a place to rent and a job lined up. Needs to be enough to live off and slightly save (ideally).

Money. I want to go there with all of my basic expenses for 6 months in savings. 6 months rent, bills, food etc. Or , alternatively, 4 months and enough for the flight back. That’s probably more realistic. And of course will need the cost of the flight there.

Transport. Won’t have a car, so get a car out there? Car cooperative? Public transport?

Travel insurance. Or will it just be medical insurance once I’m out there ? How will I pay for my sertraline? Will it be easy to get? Will it be expensive? Doctors, dentists etc? How do you go about that stuff?

 

That’s where I’m at right now, thinking of these things, with lots of questions, things to find out.

I don’t know what it is, but hoping and expressing it and telling people makes me incredibly anxious. The nightmares and dreams, and just constant noise in my head of “you can’t do this”, “you never should have said anything”, “you’ll fail”, “you’ll hate it”, “you’ll get too lonely”, “you can’t leave the cat and your family and the dogs”, “someone will die and you won’t be here and you won’t ever see them again”, you will screw it up, you’ll run out of money, you won’t make any friends, you won’t get a job, you’ll fuck it all up”. Etc etc etc.

So this post is a fuck you to that anxiety. Time to start the couple of years of planning and saving and working it all out.

 

Child (364)

It’s funny, I came back  here today for the first time in quite a long time (those declarations of returning to this blog and finishing these words are always meant with conviction and renewed determination to do it, however every single time I try that determination seems to die down relatively quick – so no declarations today, just here because I felt like it, because I wanted to be), and when I clicked on the drafts of all of those words that I have yet to write about, this one was at the very top, and I didn’t even look any further, because I feel like a have enough thoughts to get down about this one.

So to do a little background of where I am right now, during these crazy times; I am furloughed from work (currently in the UK the government is paying 80% of a number of workers wages to keep them from being made redundant during covid-19, when lots of businesses are closed), and I am back at my parents house, which is a short drive from where I live, as they wanted me there. I am doing lots of gardening, general helping out, cleaning, cooking etc, and hopefully will be able to work on my own business concept that I want to give a go soon, as well hopefully being able to some back office improvements to the business where I currently work. The thing is, its utterly shit. It was bearable for the first couple of weeks, but it is now into week 11 and its just shit. No other way to say it. Despite the fact that I am in my mid 20s, and that I’m home helping out because they wanted it, I am back to being a child. The lack of privacy, the inability to do what I want or need to do, the way my day is often scheduled and dictated by them, it’s enough to drive me insane.

I started this post several weeks ago, and never finished it, only coming back to it now. I’m sure I had a whole lot more to say about this back then, but its gone from my mind now. I think I mostly just needed to rant about it. To say how mad it made me that despite being a grown up, being back in my parents house I am back to being treated like a child, just one with a whole lot more jobs to do. I seriously hope this lockdown ends soon.

Thawing (153)

I felt like writing tonight, but I didn’t know which word I was going to choose or what to write about, just that I wanted to. In my very long list of words this one kind of stood out. Thawing feels like what is going on in my relationship with my mum lately.  Lately I’ve been full of rage, the part of me that holds all of the violence and anger has been in charge, with no care about who I hurt or what I say – she’s been completely spinning. One of the things she’s been completely pissed about is how my mum has been lately, and frankly, has always been. And, to add to that, how the rest of my family has been…my dad, my brother, my other brother.

It’s been two years since my mum asked me if anything happened with my brother, and she came out with “I know he tried it on with you once”. Two whole years and it took until about 3 months ago, when I told her I was going on anti-depressants for her to actually decide she cared.

My relationship with my mum has never been particularly good, and in the last several years its been pretty bloody crap. She’s thrown around a lot of comments about how selfish I am, how ungrateful I am, as well as how wonderful my brother is and how lucky I am to have a brother like him. (Which feels 100% worse knowing that she did in fact know about what he did to me – I always thought she did, but I always quashed those thoughts, telling myself that it just couldn’t be true that she knew and did nothing.) The boys were always my mums, and I was always my dads. I clung to him when he was home and I adored him. As for my mum, our relationship at times felt more like housemates than mother and daughter. Living in and occupying the same space, but not connecting emotionally like you would expect a mother and daughter to.

But then, for some reason, 3 months ago things started to improve. Our icy relationship is thawing. I don’t know whether it is because these anti-depressants are working for me so I’m feeling more patient and understanding towards her – less like I want to kill her every time I look at her which is pretty much what it was like, or whether it took my mentioning anti-depressants for her to finally clue into the fact that what he did to me did damage, and that I am not okay, and that somehow triggered some mothering instinct in her. Maybe it’s a combination of the both, I reckon so.

So, things have been thawing, our relationship is definitely improving. But then, when she places a text from my brother into my hands, saying to me that I need to tell her how I want her to respond (the text basically calling her out on how she’s been with him lately (not as warm and friendly), she then basically tells me what she wants me to say to her. Basically twisting it, so that I agree that she can do what she wants – keep the silence and secrets, and not risk her precious son. If I say something he may never come back. What if I say something and then he does something stupid like kills himself. He’ll only deny it so what is the point. What if it ruins his relationship with his fiancee, I don’t want to hurt her. etc etc etc.

So yeah, I’ve been fucking mad about all of it. My therapist dumped me, my dad refuses to even acknowledge it, pretending that nothing happened, my eldest brother still acts like he’s gods gift even though, oh yeah, he raped me for years, my middle brother returned after about 5 years of no contact and told me he missed me the most, and my mum is pretending to put me first when in reality it’s all about her, as ever.

Meanwhile, I’ve been wanting to just be dead. I’ve been struggling to keep myself alive. My body has been feeling terrible, and I am writing this with yet another migraine that I’m feeling nauseous with too. Ugh.

Therapy (152) Pt II

It feels like there could be a lot of parts to this one…heck we could probably turn it into a book between the two of us.  I’m only in my mid twenties, I’m young, and I’ve no doubt got decades of on and off therapy ahead of me, but I want to start this post off with remembering a bit about where this therapy stuff started.

So I come from the kind of family where the idea of therapy and talking to someone is entirely ridiculous. The silly phrase that actually pops into my head on a pretty regular basis about this and stuff like this is from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where Vernon Dudley’s sister in the film says good. i wont have this namby pamby wishy washy nonsense about not beating people who deserve it. It just sums up entirely how my parents are about emotions and feelings and talking about them – basically, you don’t. That’s for weaklings, for pathetic people, people to be mocked. I won’t have this namby pamby wishy washy nonsense about talking about feelings. And so of course the idea of therapy was totally ridiculous to me.

But I went to university…I felt isolated by the fact that I never wanted to have sex and I was terrified of relationships, as well as simply men a lot of the time. One of my housemates was talking to me about a friend on her course who was struggling with anorexia and was seeing a counsellor at the uni about it. And that kind of sparked the idea in my head. I think I was already on a forum just before that (I didn’t get on well there – it wasn’t where I met pocketcanadian), and I had read about plenty of people being in therapy, I just had never thought that maybe I could even have that.

So I looked into it, and I started with emailing a woman called B. It was too terrifying to see somebody face to face. It started by having to fill out a questionnaire to assess me – hilariously looking at it now her response was the good news is your risk factors registered as zero and your functioning was well within the range we’d want it to be! Hmmm, don’t think I was completely honest in that first questionnaire. She asked me to tell her a little bit about what I wanted us to work on and I said okay, so when I was about 7-8 I was sexually abused on and off for a year or two. I’ve always considered that I’d gotten over it but I can never seem to get into a relationship with someone – it’s like I just automatically say no even if I want to. [a little bit about how I had read about counselling in a book and just thought I’d try it]. I think that’s about it. Thanks, pocketbrit

It seems comical to me now rereading that. Oh well i was sexually abused (and make it out to be shorter than it was) but I don’t know what my problem is, think that’s about it. cheers, bye. *eyeroll*. B emailed me back, told me I was brave and asked me to share some more. I built up trust with her, aided by the fact that it was behind a screen and not face to face. Rereading the emails now I feel a mixture of sadness at how I was struggling but not wanting to admit it, pride that I gave it a go and found the courage to reach out and begin to speak about these things, and also a bit ashamed of how young I sound. It was a good few years ago now, but I sound so young and naive, and then that brings me back around to sad, because I was so sure I was making a big deal out of nothing, so sure I didn’t deserve this woman’s time. She didn’t have any experience in trauma, she was a counsellor rather than a therapist, but she listened, and she was gentle and kind. She was exactly the introduction into it that I needed.  There was a bit she wrote that I used to reread a lot – you are not the problem here, all families are systems and yours hasn’t worked for you. While I’m sure your parents did the best they could at the time and this is in no way meant as a criticism of them, something made them consciously or unconsciously turn a blind eye and it is in that darkness that abuse happens. You are not in the dark anymore, nor should it follow you around like a shadow. I don’t know why but I felt her and I believed her, and I hung onto it like an anchor at the time. She suggested we meet in person and I did, and then she mentioned that the head of counselling did EMDR and that she wondered if I would be able to give it a go, the extra scary part being that he was a man (though a kind and gentle small Irishman, as she put it). I freaked out and said no, and then came around to the idea.

Seeing A for EMDR was terrifying. I’m proud of myself for going and trying. I don’t think it really helped – I refused to tell him any details to begin, and was only just beginning to open up and trust him as our time was coming to an end. But I began to really like him. She was right, he was gentle and kind, and quite fatherly. He didn’t push me but also wasn’t scared or shocked when I did tell him bits. He was steady, never wavered. What seeing him really did was build up my confidence. He really tried to impress on me that I should make sure that if I went to therapy in the future I saw a trauma specialist. That’s what he was, a senior accredited with personal interest in trauma. I kind of wish I could have carried on seeing him, but I wasn’t living there anymore, and even if I was I wouldn’t have been able to pay for it.

So then I didn’t see anyone for a bit. But I went back to uni (a different city) to do a postgrad, and looked up their wellbeing services. I started seeing a young woman there – no counselling or therapy experience, but a fun woman, a good listener that I just really liked. She was a good listener and kind, even though I was a pain in the arse and spent most of my time staring at the clock not knowing what to say. Sometimes we would draw or play gamed, not even really talk. She was not helpful for the trauma, but very helpful for the loneliness, for having somebody.

And then we come to sonja and today. And I’m going to leave that for Therapy Pt III I think – that’s more than enough nonsense from me for tonight…

Back to the Blog

Neither pocketcanadian nor I have been consistently here in forever. We keep saying to each other how we do actually want to finish these daily words, but for me at least, finding the energy to write about some of these words is difficult – knowing how much there is to say, and wanting to do it justice. I’m going to try to make a commitment to myself to come back here and write again, finish these words off. (And the terrible reality is that I actually have 202 words of the 365 still to do – I didn’t even manage to do half of them.) But rather than an unseen word a day, I’ll just be choosing between the words, whichever I feel like writing about that day. And it won’t be one a day…I’m going to aim for one a week as a minimum, and hope that there are more than that some weeks.

So I hope we haven’t lost the couple of people that actually read our words, though it would be understandable if we had. Any of you out there and reading this, thank you – I hope you’re doing okay, xo.

Therapy pt 1

Dear sonja

As much as I wish I could write all good things, what I’m feeling right now is all of the bad. And to be clear, by bad, I mean absolutely fucking terrible. I oscillate between wishing you were dead (and yes, I know how awful that makes me), and wishing you would take me in as your own and welcome me back with open arms and hugs and ample words of reassurance.

You see I don’t understand any of it. I don’t understand how it happened, I don’t understand how it’s okay for you to have done that, I don’t understand what I did wrong, I don’t understand why you abandoned me and I really don’t understand why you are treating me like I’m some dangerous criminal.

Do you know that I’ve been making a scarf that I started knitting for you? Do you know that I’ve had a design idea for a necklace to make you going around and around in my head for months, that I intended to make and give to you for christmas? I don’t know where this all went wrong. I really don’t know where this all went wrong.

I like to think that you’re nothing to me, that you never were anything to me. That I never needed you and never cared for you. That I couldn’t care less about your dog that used to cuddle me on your sofa, or your cat that I got to know as a kitten. I need to pretend that you are nothing to me. That I don’t care whether you still exist, whether you are still practicing, what your kid is up to, whether you ever think of me.

I don’t understand. I don’t understand how despite knowing my core wounds, all the attachment shit, you could do what you did. I don’t understand how you abandoned me. And worse, I don’t understand how you treated me as though I was a criminal, refusing final sessions, refusing to have any more contact with me.

You made me feel like I was the worst of the worst. Like I should be put down. Like I didn’t deserve to call myself a human. That I used and abused people. That I am just like him.

I am not like him. I am nothing like him. Whether I was too much for you because of your own wounds, or whether I was too much for you because of my stuff, because of being little and upset and needy, I don’t know. But I am not an abuser. I am not like him. And I cannot begin to tell you the damage you have caused by treating me like I’m even worse than the rapist that I came to you because of in the first place.

I want to be dead. I am struggling every single day with the will to stay alive. I just wish that when I went to bed at night, I would never wake up in the morning.

I hate you. I know that is childish and harsh and likely cruel to say, but I hate you. I hate what you have done to me. I hate the pain you have caused me, knowing exactly how it would. I hate how I mean nothing to you. I hate how you can simply erase me from your life, but I can never erase you from mine.

I feel worthless. Even the one person that I pay to be there for me abandons me and treats me like the disgusting whore I have grown up being told that I am.

I have nobody. Nobody at all. Not even somebody that I pay to be by my side.

Why bother living?

Fuck all of it,

Pocketbrit.

Huge (365)

This was a huge task we undertook in trying to do this blog, every single day for 365 days. And safe to say we haven’t completed it, not even close, but we also haven’t failed… Not in my opinion at least.

We thought we could do it because we said that we wouldn’t have to write much at all if we didn’t want to or couldn’t that day… A simple “I can’t do this one today, sorry folks”, or a one liner about the word of the day. No big obligation for a long or interesting post… Just a response. Any response.

I think we overlooked something pretty vital in that… Pocketcanadians and my nature. We don’t tend to do things feebly. We don’t want to give short meaningless responses to words that aren’t meaningless to us. And I’m actually saying this without checking it with her, but I think (maybe, pc?) that the same goes for her.

There’s something about a word coming up and feeling unable to write all of the things that are floating around in your head, and then not wanting to write a rubbish couple-of-sentences response, because then it feels like you’re passing that word by. There are words on here that are so difficult… Family members, grief, attachment, therapy… Not to mention to seemingly innocuous ones for each of us (persistent, for myself springs to mind. I once got very upset with pocketcanadian for using this word to describe me).

I want to finish all of these words. And I want to properly respond to all of the ones that invoke a reaction in me. I don’t want to pass a word by with a sarcastic or silly comment because I couldn’t handle it that day.

And I know that pocketcanadian wants to finish these words too.

So, I don’t know how it will look right now… Whether we’ll manage to reshuffle the words we haven’t done and again have it as a surprise word… Maybe this time as a word a week rather than a word a day. Or maybe we’ll just do it as and when we can and forget about coordinating our responses.

I don’t know what its going to look like, but I know that neither of us are done with these words just yet, even though we’ve been entirely rubbish at them the last several months. It was a huge task, a word a day, and I’m still proud of what we made with this space, that anybody at all followed us and sometimes read along. (thank you all of you who did that). And I’m ready for another year of trying to write things out of my head and into this space…